US lawmakers green-lit $1 billion on Thursday to resupply Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, two days after objections from the most liberal Democrats forced leaders to remove it from a broader spending bill, Reuters reported.
The money had originally been included in legislation addressing a looming government shutdown and a potential October debt crisis, according to The New Arab. But a group of progressives in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives said they would tank that unless the Iron Dome funding was yanked from the wording.
This vote is not about simply funding the Iron Dome. It’s about adding an extra billion dollars on top of the $73 million we already allocated this year. That’s 14 times more than we normally spend on it and 60% of what we’ve provided for it over the course of a decade.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) September 23, 2021
“Today was an unprecedented victory for people who fight for Palestinian rights. This never could have happened two decades ago,” Raed Jarrar, advocacy director at Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), told The New Arab on Wednesday.
“The fact that we have enough political clout in Congress to get the language removed, for me and other staffers who pushed for this today, is a win. We were surprised.”
Thank you Congresswoman @RashidaTlaib for speaking truth to power, and for braving the smears leveled at you for simply insisting that Palestinians are human beings who deserve safety, security, and freedom from Israeli apartheid. pic.twitter.com/m4srEaBKmE
— IMEU (@theIMEU) September 23, 2021
“There is a massive shift happening in the Democratic base,” Jarrar added. “What we’re seeing now is a manifestation of progressive Democrats not being OK with the blank checks policy to Israel.”
However, the cash transfer ultimately advanced from the House on a comfortable 420-9 vote, according to Reuters.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett thanked both parties in the House for their support, Reuters added. “Those who try to challenge this support got a resounding response today,” Bennett said in a statement.
I will not support a standalone supplemental bill of $1 billion to replenish the bombs Israel used to commit war crimes in Gaza. https://t.co/YILmG1ZmLy
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) September 23, 2021
Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the first Muslim US congresswomen, have both tweeted their disapproval of the funding on Thursday, citing human rights violations against Palestinians and illegal settlement expansion.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)